Former Toronto Mayor Rob Ford died on Tuesday at Toronto’s Mount Sinai Hospital after fighting cancer. He was 46.
“A dedicated man of the people, Councillor Ford spent his life serving the citizens of Toronto,” Ford’s family said in a statement.
Ford was the mayor of Toronto from 2010 to 2014 after a decade in the City Council. His colorful antics became an international cultural phenomenon, and fodder for comedians and late-night talk show hosts.
Ford was diagnosed with pleomorphic liposarcoma — a rare form of soft-tissue cancer — in September of 2014, forcing him to withdraw his candidacy for a second term. He underwent surgery to remove a tumor last May then another round of chemotherapy when doctors found new tumors in October.
He was, however, elected councilor for the seat he previously held, Ward 2 — his birthplace of Etobicoke North.
A cell phone video emerged in May of 2013 showing the then mayor smoking what appeared to be crack cocaine. He vehemently denied the accusations before admitting to the drug use six months later. “Yes, I have smoked crack cocaine,” he said at a press conference.
The revelations were mocked by American talk shows hosts, including Jon Stewart, Stephen Colbert, David Letterman, Jay Leno and Jimmy Kimmel, whose show, “Jimmy Kimmel Live,” he visited in March 2014.
“Even though I will lose precious material, please go to rehab,” Stewart said on an episode of “The Daily Show.” Ford eventually did a short stint in rehab for drug and alcohol treatment.
He is survived by his wife, Renata, and children, Stephanie and Douglas.